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World War One - Artists

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C.R.W. Nevinson: Futurist on the Front (The Great War, 1918)

Attached you will find a segment from a longer article reviewing the W.W. I paintings of C.R.W. Nevinson (1889 - 1946). Trained by the Italian Futurist Severini, Nevinson made some of the most modern images of all the World War One artists:

"C.R.W. Nevinson with unerring eye penetrated to the man behind the khaki and deliberately unveiled the son of toil. The hands of the foremost figures may be exaggerated (but probably not), and in any case they emphasize the essential truth that these men belong to the horny-handed class. They may not be beautiful, but they are strong..."

Click here if you would like to read a 1922 article about C.R.W. Nevinson.

 

W.W. I Art and the Canadian War Memorial (Vanity Fair Magazine, 1919)

An illustrated article from the chic Conde Nast magazine, VANITY FAIR, regarding one of the great Canadian disappointments of the immediate post-war years: the failure to build the Canadian war memorial building. By the summer of 1919 1,000 paintings and drawings depicting the experiences of the World War had been amassed with the intention of displaying them in a museum that was to serve as a remembrance to the Canadian servicemen of that war.

Throughout the Twenties and Thirties there were numerous advisory groups charged with the task of launching the museum, but they were never able to agree on key issues. With the outbreak of the Second World War the urgency of the project took root - and, finally, the Canadian War Museum was officially established in 1942 (and opend in 1967).

There are two paintings illustrating the article: "Camouflaged Ships" by E. Wadsworth and "Strathcona Horse on the March" by A.J. Munnings.

 

Gaudier-Brzeska (Literary Digest, 1916)

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891 - 1915) was an avant-garde sculptor of the Vorticist school. Prior to the war he resided in London and broke bread with the talented Bohemians of that burg, and this article is composed of snippets of text from a remembrance written by his close friend, Ezra Pound.

To read more about Gaudier-Brzeska, click here

 

Joseph Cummings Chase: Soldiers All (Rob Wagner's Script, 1942)

Joseph Cummings Chase (1878 - 1965) was an American painter who's name is not likely to be associated with World War I artists but, like Sir William Orpen, he had a comfortable place within fashionable circles and he, too, was commissioned to paint portraits of the anointed within his nations military establishment. This article appeared in 1942 and primarily concerns the W.W. I portrait that Chase painted of Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur during the closing days of the war:

"Joseph Cummings Chase is without doubt one of the world's greatest portrait painters, and as luck would have it, he was in Paris when World War I began, at which time the Government commissioned him to paint the Distinguished Service Cross men, both enlisted men and officers, wherever he could catch up with them; some in dugouts, some in trenches, and some behind the lines."

Click here to see a few trench war images by German Expressionist Otto Dix.

Click here to read a 1942 article by Rockwell Kent on the proper roll of American artists during wartime.

 

World War I Pictures by British Artists Seen in America (Vanity Fair Magazine, 1919)

The attached VANITY FAIR art review by Christian Brinton (1870 - 1942) covered the first public exhibition of the British War Artists to be shown on American shores (1919):

"A direct product of war and war conditions, it reflects not only the varied aspects and incidents of the great struggle, but but also the actual state of British artistic taste at the present moment...England has been the first to enlist the services of the artist, and the readiest to grant him the measure of official standing so manifestly his due."

Launched jointly by the British Ministry of Information and the Worcester Art Museum, the exhibit was comprised of almost 250 paintings. This review discusses the art of Paul Nash, Muirhead Bone, Sir John Lavery, James McBey,Sir William Orpen, Augustus John, C.R.W. Nevinson, John Everett, Frank Brangwyn and Eric Kennington.

 

Butcher Bill Paid by the French Arts Community (Literary Digest, 1917)

"Three hundred and fifty French artists, among whom are painters, sculptors, engravers, and architects, have paid the extreme price of their devotion to country and are counted with the dead."

 


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